Elise Miller-Hooks

PhD Student:
Ali Asadabadi

Ali AsadabadiPhD 2017, Civil and Environmental Engineering,

Sr. Operations Research Analyst
FedEx Corporation
1000 Ridgeway Loop Rd, Suite 500,
Memphis, TN 38120-4045

Email: aali.asadabadi@fedex.com

Dissertation Title:

Optimal Investment Planning for Protection of Transportation Networks against an Uncertain Climate Future


Transportation systems are lifelines of society, providing mobility for both passengers through roadway networks and goods through freight transport networks. This thesis is focused on optimal protective investment decision making for transportation infrastructures facing the threats of a changing climate.

The problem of choosing the extent, system components, and timing of roadway infrastructure protective investments over a long time horizon, given only probabilistic information on the predicted sea level rise and associated likely extreme climatic events, is modeled as a stochastic bi-level program wherein cost-effective investment decisions are taken in the upper level and effects of possible episodic precipitation events on experienced travel delays are estimated from solution of a lower-level, traffic equilibrium problem. A recursive noisy genetic algorithm (rNGA), designed to address large-scale applications, is developed. Numerical experiments utilizing the rNGA method conducted on a case study of a portion of the Washington, D.C. roadway netowork under varying climatic predictions. Significant Value of Stochastic Solution (VSS), suggests that having a hedging against multiple future possibilities is more effective than decisions made based on an assumed probable future. The results suggest that more accurate predictions for future SLR and flooding levels can result in significant savings in terms of costs of delays and investments.

To model ports investment decision making in the cooperative, but competitive, co-opetative, maritime network, a multi-leader, common-follower game theoretic approach is used, wherein individual ports are making decisions while anticipating the response of the common lower-level, market-clearing, cost minimization, shipping assignment problem in the impacted network. The lower-level is replaced by its equivalent Karush Kuhn Tucker, KKT, conditions to allow for the single level formulation of the individual investment problem of ports. Simultaneous consideration of all the individual port optimization problems construct an Equilibrium Problem with Equilibrium Constraints, EPEC. Equilibria among ports are sought by using the diagonalization technique. Equilibrium investments are found for the shipment demand between East Asia and Europe. Ports decisions in open, restricted and semi-restricted games and their impacts are analyzed and are compared to each other and investments made in a centralized decisions making scheme.

Received the 2016 WINFORMS Student Excellence Award - 1st Place (2016).

Elise Miller-Hooks, Ph.D.
Bill & Eleanor Hazel Chair in Infrastructure Engineering

Phone: 703.993.1685
Email: miller@gmu.edu

Office: 4614 Nguyen Engineering Building

Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 6C1
Fairfax, VA 22030

Additional Resources




Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University